Posts Tagged ‘SFMTA’

How the SFPD Reacts to Deadly Accidents at the Poorly-Designed Intersection of Yorba and Sunset Avenue

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

IDK, in any other part of California, there’d be a button to push for peds wanting to cross Sunset at Yorba. And that would make the light go red and then the peds would cross.

But for some reason, SFGov put in a button that merely flashed yellow lights, because, because why? Because a flashing yellow light is better than no light at all? Au contraire, not at all. IRL, the flashing yellow HAWK lights at Yorba are a big failure. The only thing they succeeded in is creating cases for the District Attorney to ponder.

IRL, peds don’t need to push no button and they don’t even need to look before they cross over Sunset – no matter what they do here, any collision will be the fault of the driver. Who designed this set up, one wonders.

Anyway, the SFPD is well aware of the carnage of course, so here’s how it responds whenever somebody gets run over. Look to the right of the photo and you’ll see an unoccupied SFPD van just sitting there to put a little fear into the minds of drivers:

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Is this technique effective? IDK.

OMG, It’s Carmageddon! Forget About Parking In Front of Your House Anymore If the SFMTA’s “Car Share Vehicle” Program Comes to Your Block

Monday, June 30th, 2014

It’s a mere formality now, this plan from July 11th, 2014 to give a metric ton of street parking spaces over to ZipCar and the like.

Here’s where some public parking spaces will soon be privatized

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Hey look, even spaces on the side of the block where I live.

Like, I don’t care, but man the NIMBY’s are not going to be happy with this, NOT ONE BIT! If the spaces get used too much, it’ll piss off the NIMBYs. But if the spaces get used not that much, it will also piss off the NIMBYs.

What’s next, spaces reserved for Avis and Hertz cars? Perhaps. Why not?

If you stop in one of these spaces in your private car, you risk a ticket. If you go and actually park in one of these spaces, you know, like you’ve been doing the past two decades, well, you’re going to get towed, with extreme prejudice. And that will run you $500-$1000. So, respect!

As with every other program SFGov does, some of us will win and some of us will lose.

Oh well.

Oh, hey, what about street cleaning? Is ZipCar going to get a pass on this or will they send somebody out to move the cars for two hours (ala Kramer in Seinfeld) or will something else occur? I know not.

[UPDATE: Oh, here we go:

"Anytime we change [Jay Primus means take away when he says change but oh well] parking, there is opposition,” he said. “The challenge for the MTA and the car-sharing [he means car rental, cause you know they are rental car cos.] companies is to get awareness of the benefits of car sharing. Academic research shows that … [yada yada yada.] But we know that communicating that will be a challenge.”

Oh Jay Primus, you are a Golden God! But we, the unwashed masses are so, so ignorant! Oh Dr. Primus, please make us “aware.” Oh Dr. Primus, please educate us! And keep up the great work with MUNI – no changes please, it’s already perfect!]

How Crazy are the Newly-Striped Lanes on JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park? Contra-Flow Dog-Walking Lane

Monday, June 30th, 2014

Well, I’ll tell you, the SFMTA-sponsored restriping of the eastern section of JFK Drive in Golden Gate Park is pretty crazy.

So different and strange new things occur there all the time  - it’s amazing.

Do you think this dog skatewalker goes against traffic with eight critters anywhere else in the world? 

Here’s public radio:

Why One San Francisco Bike Lane Design Is Upsetting Drivers and Cyclists

And here’s the San Francisco Bay Guardian:

New JFK bike lanes are bad for everyone

Can’t the SFMTA simply fix matters by admitting defeat and putting the old stripes back in?

I don’t know if it can, you know, ideologically.

The SFMTA Wants to Remove Ever More Parking from Folsom Street: Presenting the Folsom-Essex Bikeway “Improvement” Project

Wednesday, June 18th, 2014

Here it is, via the Rincon Hill Blog, it’s  the “Folsom-Essex Bikeway Improvement Project.”

Speaking as somebody with more hours, years, decades and miles on bikes in San Francisco County than any SFMTA Livable Streets person or SFMTA Project Manager or, really, anybody at the sainted SFMTA (with the possible exception of one or two $25 an hour interns that they might have recently hired on), many times what the SFMTA calls an IMPROVEMENT actually doesn’t turn out to be an improvement.

But at that point, the SFMTA becomes seemingly powerless to fix its mistakes, oh well.

Anyway, the project manager behind this effort doesn’t care – all s/he cares about is pushing this thing through. If the project gets approved, that’s success and if it doesn’t, that’s failure. It’s as simple as that.

Oh well. I’ll check out this situation next time I’m down there

All the deets:

“The SoMa area is experiencing rapid residential and commercial  growth, and is poised to be among the neighborhoods with the highest  bicycle ridership in San Francisco.  With bicycling increasing as a means of transportation in SoMa and  throughout the city, the San Francisco Municipal Transportation  Agency (SFMTA) is working with the community to increase the safety  and comfort of city streets for people biking, while also better  organizing our city’s roadways for all modes of travel.

Current Situation
Currently, people bicycling eastbound on Folsom Street must navigate  a difficult segment between 2nd and 1st streets where they are forced  to ride in a narrow bike lane sandwiched between lanes of vehicle  traffic and merge with freeway-bound vehicles.

Proposed Solution
To enhance bicycle safety and better organize the roadway, the  SFMTA proposes to move the Folsom bike lane curbside to eliminate  the need for people bicycling to merge with heavy volumes of freeway  bound vehicles. The agency will also install a dedicated bicycle traffic  signal at the Essex Street intersection to separate through bicyclists  from right-turning vehicles and special markings to provide clear  direction on where motorists can expect bicyclists to be riding.

Realigning the bikeway will require the removal of seven metered parking  spaces on the south side of Folsom Street just east of 2nd Street.

A public hearing on this project will be held on Friday, June 20th at  10:00 AM in City Hall, Room 416.

Please contact Ellen Robinson of the SFMTA at (415) 701-4322 or Ellen.Robinson@sfmta.com with any questions or comments.”

I am writing to let you and the SBRMBNA know about an improvement to the city’s bike network planned for the Folsom Street between 1st and 3rd streets. The bike lane on this stretch has multiple jogs where eastbound bicyclists and freeway-bound motorists must weave. SFMTA proposes to remedy this by moving the bike lane curbside between 2nd and Essex, with a new bike traffic signal to manage the Folsom/Essex intersection. The project will require removing seven metered parking spaces on Folsom Street. There is a public hearing for this change on Friday, June 20th, for which we have placed postings in the project vicinity. The attached flyer provides a summary of the project and details on the public hearing. Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Ellen Robinson, PE
SFMTA Livable Streets
1 S Van Ness Avenue, 7th Floor
San Francisco, CA 94103″

A $23 Cap on Parking Tickets? Could San Francisco Survive Something Like the “Los Angeles Parking Freedom Initiative”

Monday, June 16th, 2014

Read the news and turn the pages, from the LA TImes:

“The Los Angeles Parking Freedom Initiative wants to cap fines at $23 for violations that don’t affect public safety.”

Mmmm…

[CALL:] Hey, could an initiative like this pass in San Francisco County?

[RESPONSE:] Hell to the yes.

Could the SFMTA handle the loss of revenue?

I suppose. But it would turn a solid money-maker – paying well-compensated PCO’s to run around all over the city – into a decided money-loser.

Mmmmm…

Judgment Day is Nigh: Signs for the “Oversize Vehicle Overnight Parking Restriction Pilot” Have Been Posted

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

I don’t actually know if they’re enforcing the new RV parking restrictions in the Panhandle part of Golden Gate Park yet, but here are the brand-new signs, anyway:

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Of course, 22 feet is pretty long – that’s enough to cover your Ford Excursions, your Chevy Suburbans and even your Maybach 62‘s. And seven feet is pretty high, so the rules seem fair enough if the goal is to kick the RV liveaboards out of the Panhandle.

But I haven’t heard or seen any RVs getting the heave-ho yet…

Advertising Your Business by Making Your Handbills Look Like Parking Tickets and Then Putting them on Car Windshields

Thursday, June 12th, 2014

Right under the windshield wipers, thusly – as seen on Fell Street:

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This is an oldie but a goodie, a time-honored technique.

I cry foul.

Western Addition Update: Pacific Medical Attempts to Turn a Passenger Loading Zone into a Customer Parking Space

Thursday, June 5th, 2014

Here’s the official sign:

And here’s the unofficial one:

Together, they don’t add up.

Dennis Herrera Throws Down: Files Legal Action to End Unlawful SFMTA MUNI “Sick-Out,” Compels Union to Arbitrate

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

The news of the day, this third day of our MUNI crisis:

“Herrera files legal action to end unlawful “sick-out” and compel union to arbitrate wage and benefits dispute

Charges filed before Public Employees Relations Board allege union is flouting contract and City Charter provisions that could bring an end to three-day-old work stoppage

SAN FRANCISCO (June 4, 2014)— On the third day of an unlawful employee “sick-out,” in which transit workers are calling in sick en masse after contract negotiations with the Municipal Transportation Agency reached an impasse, City Attorney Dennis Herrera filed unfair labor practice charges with California’s public labor relations body against Transport Workers Union Local 250-A, seeking to compel the union to end the sick-out and abide by the City Charter by allowing a neutral arbitration board to resolve its contract dispute with the MTA. The charges, filed at the Public Employees Relations Board, the state agency that administers collective bargaining statutes covering public employees, state that in the wake of the union’s rejection of the MTA’s contract offer, the Charter of San Francisco requires the union and the City to submit to the decision of a neutral three-member arbitration board. The complaint further alleges that the sick-out is illegal under both state law and the existing contract with the workers.

“This is an unfortunate attempt by the union to get around a law and contract provisions they don’t like,” Herrera said Tuesday. “The Charter is clear that an impasse such as this one is resolved with neutral arbitration. Let’s do what the law says, begin the arbitration process, and get San Francisco moving again as soon as humanly possible.”

The PERB can take as much as a year or more to issue rulings on allegations of unfair labor practices, but San Francisco officials are hopeful that the filing of the complaint can spur the union into doing the right thing. “Our transit operators have very difficult jobs and deserve fair and competitive wages in return,” said Ed Reiskin, SFMTA Director of Transportation. “At the same time, we have an obligation to provide transit service for 700,000 riders a day and we are asking the union to follow provisions in the Charter and get everyone back to work.”

The existing contract between the union and the MTA forbids strikes and work stoppages such as the sick-out. The MTA announced Monday that it would not pay transit workers for sick time taken during the sick-out unless workers could document that they in fact met the criteria to claim sick leave.

Appendix A, section A8.409-4(a) of the San Francisco City Charter states that “disputes… which remain unresolved after good faith bargaining between the City and County of San Francisco, on behalf of its departments, boards and commissions, and a recognized employee organization representing classifications of employees covered under this part shall be submitted to a three-member Mediation/Arbitration Board (“the Board”) upon the declaration of an impasse either by the authorized representative of the City and County of San Francisco or by the authorized representative of the recognized employee organization involved in the dispute.”

OMG, These Stupid Experimental Pedestrian Warning Lights are Still Operating at Yorba And Sunset? Who Is To Blame?

Wednesday, June 4th, 2014

I’ve heard the local nonprofit-government complex call these unusual pedestrian-activated flashing yellow lights “HAWK Beacons,” but they don’t look like what’s in Wiki.

See? They’re still there:

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These signals only flash yellow, unlike the examples of HAWKs I’ve seen on the web.

Who approved these signals? What was the intent? Was it to save money? Was it to spend money? Why didn’t SF put in traditional lights a long time ago?

And is this crazy set-up* a factor for the DA to keep in mind when deciding how to handle accidents? Well, I’ll answer this one:

Oh Hell Yes.

San Franciscans obvs. can’t handle having a single simple freeway taking traffic from the south up north towards the Golden Gate Bridge, so Sunset Boulevard (or Parkway or whatever people cal it) is part of the solution. But it hasn’t been managed properly.

That is the fault of whom?

IDK.

*I can’t think of a situation where a vehicle vs. ped collision at this intersection could be the fault of the ped, unless the ped had been running in the crosswalk. So you end up with a dead ped and a driver who’s legally at fault – is that a good situation?